By Harry Hofherr
"You can't be serious." I said quietly, trying not to awaken my inner childish smart ass.
My wife nodded, "I'm not kidding. They really do."
"Why not?" I laughed. "With all the crap flying around the autism world, I guess we need a place for poop stories. I'll bet it's full of it."
Then she reminds me that she sat in on a roundtable discussion at a past Autism One all about proper pooping, including size, color, shape, consistency, floaters, sinkers, and especially, frequency. I almost chewed my tongue off, but somehow managed to keep it firmly planted in my cheek while not wrecking the car.
Back home, I went on-line and there it was, on the TACA site; The "Poop" Page. (HERE) The smart ass was wide awake now and had a big poop eating grin on his face.
Heavens to Betsy, a Poop Page! All you ever, or never, wanted to know about poop. They even have "Poop Stories" from parents.
Listen up folks. This is Salvador Dali territory here. Remember him? Mr.
Surrealism. He did one of my all time favorite paintings, "The Persistence of Memory". You've probably seen it. It's the one with a clock melting off the edge of a table and another draped over the branch of a dead tree. That's surreal.
But the biomedical autism movement has a "poop page". Does it get any more surreal than that? What's more astounding is, after talking to people at Autism One, I discovered it's not unusual for autism parents to spend a quiet evening with wine and friends discussing our child's adventures in poop, or as Kim Stagliano calls them, "Crapisodes."
Okay, okay, I know this is sobering stuff and some of our kids need lots of help with their bowels and some of them don't or can't poop properly, let alone regularly, and the generic pediatricians we take them to generally don't know poop from shinola, but come'on…an honest to God poop page?
Is there a Yahoo Poop Group?
My wife has done a marvelous job managing our son's diet and his supplements and his education and is absolutely tireless in working to heal his gut in order to help him recover. What's even better, she speaks fluent PSL (Poop as a Second Language). When the teachers begin speaking in that cryptic teach speak during team meetings or IEP's, my wife talks Poop and immediately levels the field.
When our oldest daughter brought her new boyfriend over for dinner a couple of months ago, she made mom double swear cross her heart promise to not tell "Poop Stories". Mom repeatedly vowed to not talk poop.
Then sure enough, after dinner the women steered the conversation through the intestines, into the colon, and out the rectum before it exploded into full blown poop stories. Ferchrissakes, this was the first time the young man had been to our home and he gets an earful of poop.
What's next; a 4th of July GFCF bar-b-que with a side helping of Dysbiosis?
So, there's an actual poop page and poop stories on the TACA site and I'm reading Bryan Jepson's book, "Changing the Course of Autism", and he's got a whole lot of info on GI problems and correcting poop, and my wife reminded me of the first DAN doctor we took our son to who talked about proper pooping and there are all sorts of chapters in other autism books and there are seminars and scientific papers dedicated to the analysis of successful pooping, and dammit, there's this juvenile leprechaun rolling around the back of my mind laughing his ass off.
TACA HAS A POOP PAGE. Autism Speaks doesn't have a poop page. But NAA has an awesome new "Poop" T-Shirt. I bought a couple at the NAA booth at Autism One. Go to NAA and check out their Little Shop of Hope. I'm wearing mine at the rally in D.C.
What does it say about autism when discussions about curing our kids include a detailed evaluation of poop? What does it tell us about autism that we need to discuss poop? Why in the hell are the Brits trying to screw Andy Wakefield for finding out why our kid's guts are all messed and they can't poop properly? That's pretty shitty of them. And why the hell don't the generic doctors believe us when we say our kids have bad poops? What is wrong with doctors who can't or won't acknowledge these kids bad poops?
From all the studies I've seen cited, it appears that some people get it. There is a definite connection between poor poop, the autistic gut, and the autistic mind. The signs can be read in the poop.
No more going to Madam Zelda to have her read the tea leaves or my palms to look into the future. I want to be a poop reader in my next career. I'm gonna study my sons diapers and read his poop. I'm gonna apply for an AS grant to fly off somewhere exotic and study poop with a Zen Poop Master.
Just to see where I might find a Zen Poop Master, and find out if we are alone in our poopy obsession, I Googled "Poop Page". The TACA Poop Page was only number ten, out of over 600,000. We are not alone.
I laughed so hard I almost pooped.
Harry Hofherr and his wife have three children; two daughters and a son, Eric 11, who has autism. He has been in sales and marketing for over 25 years.